14ymedio, Havana, 21 April 2017 — The headquarters of the Captain Tondique project in the municipality Matancero de Colón, was raided Friday by combined Police and State Security forces, according to a report received by this newspaper from Yelena Marrero Burunate, daughter of Caridad Burunate, the activist who owns the property.
The house, located at #163 Mesa Street, was raided from the early hours of dawn until one o’clock in the afternoon, Marrero explained.
“From seven in the morning they undertook a search, they came for the Tondique equipment and supplies, they took everything. The cauldrons, our food, everything. They did not explain anything to us, they took the benches we used. There were more than twenty people in here,” said the activist via telephone.
“We told them that without a search warrant they couldn’t come in and they were looking for it,” the woman explained.
Caridad Burunate and Francisco Rangel, the mother and uncle of Marrero are in custody. “Everything happened in the presence of my grandmother Raquel Gomez, an 88-year-old woman,” she added.
“The search lasted until one o’clock in the afternoon and they took away our cell phones.”
The community initiative Captain Tondique has working since April 2013 to help those who live on the streets and homeless people, offering them a plate of food every Thursday
The Captain Tondique community initiative has been working since April 2013 to help those who live on the streets and people who are homeless, offering them a plate of food every Thursday.
Felix Navarro denounced to 14ymedio that the search warrant alleged the crime of “illicit enrichment and abetting” and that Francisco Rangel’s home, a few yards from the project headquarters, at #125 Calle Pedro Betancourt, was also raided “at the same time.”
Navarro explains that the operation was carried out at a provincial level and included his home in Perico, which in the afternoon hours was still “surrounded by members of the State Security.”
According to the government opponent, when he tried to leave his house he was told by Officer Darío Torres Barrios that if he “went out” he would be arrested.
“Other activists of the province remain in their homes in the same situation of being under surveillance,” denounced Navarro.
The organization reported that on other occasions the political police have placed loudspeakers in the vicinity of the headquarters or closed the surrounding streets to prevent their work and intimidate the activists.